We are writing to address the letter of Gabrielle and Rich Lesser (Enterprise, Oct. 16), which argues that construction of the Hillside addition should go ahead next month as originally planned. While we appreciate the value of a robust discussion on the merits of the project, the Lessers’ letter goes well beyond this to criticize and demean the prior commenters on the subject. Their letter says that those who have expressed a different view from theirs have a "desire to undermine," are "voices of negativity" and "conservatism," and that the suggestions are "unwarranted and inaccurate criticism" (no details are provided as to any inaccuracies or why community opinions are "unwarranted").
Seven of those who spoke and wrote in favor of pausing construction to evaluate the needs of our schools and our community in our new Covid-impacted reality were former school board presidents. Their cumulative service to our community totals well over 40 years. Applying the negative motives and descriptors quoted above to them is inaccurate and unwarranted. To say, as the letter does, that “in Hastings, we have a way of making [change] even harder on ourselves,” suggests that the Lessers do not value the passion and involvement that characterizes our village.
This personal attack is exactly what so many of us are exhausted by on a national level — and certainly would hope that we wouldn't have to see it here in our community, especially during the current times. We believe that the prudent decision would be to put the project on hold for the time being. Beyond that, we aim to strive for exchanges that stick to the merits, that are respectful, that are backed up by facts — and that avoid unnecessary and inaccurate condemnations of others, especially within our own community.
Amanda Dargan and Steve Zeitlin